Any-Other-Business

Barometerrss

4 July 2015

Bank job Should we buy shares in companies which print banknotes in expectation of one getting to print millions of drachma notes? — In May, according to the ECB, there… Read more

27 June 2015

The spirit of 1945 No one would have been more surprised at the sight of 100,000 people marching in London under the banner ‘End Austerity Now’ and demanding ‘Tories Out’… Read more

20 June 2015

Dropping the Clangers The Clangers made a comeback on BBC television. Some Clanger facts: — The actors doing the voices worked from a script in English, even though they were… Read more

13 June 2015

Forty years on The forthcoming EU referendum has rekindled memories of the in-out Common Market referendum of 1975. But it seems a strange looking-glass world now. — Mrs Thatcher was… Read more

6 June 2015

First test The driving test celebrated its 80th anniversary. The first person to take the test, R.E.L. Beene of Kensington, passed. Here is some of the advice given to candidates… Read more

30 May 2015

Steam privatisation Cunard celebrated its 175th birthday by sailing three liners down the Mersey. The formation of the Cunard Line was an early triumph of privatisation. — The Post Office… Read more

23 May 2015

Cake discrimination A bakery in Northern Ireland was found guilty of discriminating against a gay couple for whom it refused to bake a cake celebrating gay marriage. Cake-baking has become… Read more

16 May 2015

Plagued by stigma The World Health Organisation told doctors to stop naming diseases after people, places and animals so as not to stigmatise them. But are diseases even really associated… Read more

9 May 2015

Party packs Is it possible to form a stable coalition with more than one political party? The Conservative/Lib Dem coalition of 2010– 2015 was in fact unique in being the… Read more

2 May 2015

One-way stretch A study at Louisville University in Kentucky concluded that collisions are twice as likely in one-way streets as in similar streets with two-way traffic. — The one-way street… Read more

25 April 2015

Any answers? Nigel Farage accused the audience in the BBC opposition leaders’ debate of being left-wing. Need insulting an audience destroy a political career? — Former US Vice President Dan… Read more

18 April 2015

Out of tune The use of a song, ‘Love Natural’ by the Crystal Fighters, at the launch of the Labour manifesto backfired when the band’s drummer urged people to vote… Read more

11 April 2015

The Scottish way of death Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP would block a rise in the state pension age on the grounds that it would be unfair to Scots, who… Read more

4 April 2015

Royally paid Staff at Windsor Castle were balloted in strike action over pay. What can you earn in the royal household, according to adverts on the British Monarchy website? —… Read more

28 March 2015

Service record The government is to form a design panel to improve motorway services stations. These have not always charmed the British public, not least the very first: Watford Gap… Read more

21 March 2015

Cooking statistics Ed Miliband was photographed in a miserable kitchen, but it turned out to be only a snack preparation room which he has in addition to a large kitchen… Read more

14 March 2015

Deadly to dogs An Irish setter was allegedly poisoned at Crufts, using beef containing slug pellets. Some other substances with which dog-show rivals could poison your pooch: — Chocolate contains theobromine, a stimulant… Read more

7 March 2015

A dangerous hobby Three men from Greater Manchester were arrested and held in the UAE after being seen writing down the numbers of aircraft. — Plane-spotting can be risky. In… Read more

28 February 2015

Golden league Some MPs who earn Sir Malcolm Rifkind’s rate of £5,000 a day: — Sir Tony Baldry (Banbury): £3,333 for four hours work as deputy chairman of Woburn Energy.… Read more

Rifle Lesson

21 February 2015

Gun lords The House of Lords shooting range is to be turned into a cupboard, having previously survived an attempt by Labour MPs in 1997 to turn it into a… Read more

14 February 2015

Watching brief Samsung warned users of its voice-activated televisions that what they said in front of the TV could be transmitted to other people. The story attracted comparison with the… Read more

7 February 2015

Right Boot, left Boot What would Jesse Boot, who built Britain’s largest chemist chain from his father’s herbal shops, made of the spat between Labour and Stefano Pessina, chief executive… Read more

(Photo: Keystone/Getty)

31 January 2015

Female bishops The Reverend Libby Lane was ordained as Bishop of Stockport, the Church of England’s first female bishop. — By the time the first 32 female C of E… Read more

24 January 2015

Poor data Oxfam complained of an ‘inequality explosion’, citing an estimate that by next year 1 per cent of the world’s population will own half the wealth, but little other… Read more

17 January 2015

Not Charlie Some cases which make Britain a pretty poor champion of free speech: — In 2005 Bristol pub landlord Leroy Trought was given an Asbo and told to remove… Read more